Thursday, June 09, 2005

Through Hazy Eyes: Day One, Part III

Day One, Part 1
Day One, Part II

As I stood there surveying the barren landscape of the parking lot at Yama Sushi, the inner monologue of everyone else was nearly audible (or, being in the condition I was, it may have actually been audible) and it matched my own.

“I don’t think we’re going to get a taxi here.”

Someone (I can’t really recall who, exactly) was inside trying to get one of the staff to call us a cab. Not remembering who was on that particular errand in no way hinders the memory of the conversation as it was relayed to all of us while standing around waiting for a cosmic miracle involving transportation.

“Hi, can someone call us a cab?”

“Yes yes, you cab”

[slightly louder] “No no, we’re not a cab. You need to CAAAALL us a cab”

“Yes yes, you are taxi”

[even louder + hand gestures+ slower] “NO NO, we are NOT taxi, we need PHONE taxicab”

“Oooooooooh, I call for you”

A few minutes later the little waitress pops outside to let us know that a taxi will be there in 30-45 minutes. She returned to the restaurant, and as the door closed, and I mean the exact moment that the closing motion of the door reached its finality, a sketchy looking lady in some sort of Pontiac screeches up in front of us.

True to “It’s Vegas and strange shit is gonna happen” form, it began.

“You guys waiting for a taxi?”

[silence and lots of blinking]

“You guys waiting for a cab?”

“Ummm, yeah.”

“Well hop on in!”

Even by strange-ass Vegas standards this was not right. I frantically racked my brain for something smartass or snappy to say to the Super Hooker Serial Killer (SHSK), but I only stood there dumbfounded and blinking. This is usually the kind of strange thing that only happens after dropping acid, and since I hadn’t, I can only surmise in hindsight that, unbeknownst to us, someone on the same block was tripping balls. Thankfully, BigPirate (Wes) stepped in and responded…

“Aaaaargh, dearie! I think we’re too many for ye! No Thanks, grrrrrrr!”

[I admit, I took some editorial liberties with this quote, but the point of it is consistent with how it was actually stated]

With a quick shrug, the SHSK squalled tires and was on to the next potential mark. Everyone just kind of looked at each other and Wes spoke up again since no one else did.

“Aaaaargh, she must’ve thought this be our first trip to Vegas, Yohoho!”

[Again, editorial liberties]

Joe suggested that we could possibly flag down a cab from the street, and even though I found sitting down entirely more appealing than the idea of actually walking, I didn’t feel like doing it on concrete with nothing to drink for the next 30-45 minutes, so off we went. As our little crew walked along the street, the mood sank a little bit since there was not a single taxi in sight, but not too far off was a minor version of the transportation miracle we had been seeking.

The Bus Stand. Oh Joy.

Either Bill or Felicia had mentioned it earlier (perhaps both of them), and now we were pretty much out of options. My streak of nearly 29 years without ever taking the city bus was going to come to an end in Las Vegas, the best place for it, I suppose.

Being on the city bus was like being in a subway restroom on wheels. Stark and dingy, it lent to my assumption that someone had likely pissed on or underneath the seats on more than one occasion, and I found myself seated, sans protection. For the first time, our group was completely silent. I think all of us instinctively knew the unspoken rule:

Don’t show them your teeth. They might take it as a sign of aggression.

I was busy keeping the sketchy guy behind the Mrs. and I in my peripheral vision, while at the same time theorizing on the plotline of the romance novel that the giant lady in front of us was reading. That’s when it happened, we all noticed happy drunk dirty t-shirt lady with 1.3 teeth. Teefes. Toofs. Whatever, there were only 1.3 of them. For a split second I actually felt bad for her, she was obviously addicted to eating rocks. Then suddenly, as though it was the most natural thing in the world, she reached down the neck of her shirt and whipped out the Red Dog tall can. Man, I thought that stuff went away to Yucca Mountain sometime in ’98. I vividly remember trying it once and thinking that it made Old English 800 taste like Dom. After a healthy pull, Boop!, back between the saggy tits it went. I remember looking over at Joe just as he grinned and said “Words are failing me”.

Dammit, they weren’t failing me. I grabbed Joe’s pad and quickly scratched out a note about the pervasive strangeness of it all so neither of us would forget it. Not likely that we would have, but hey, you just never know.

We must have stopped about five different times for pickups or drop-offs, and each time something strange and/or worn and/or dirty would board. As interesting as the Red Dog Lady was, I found Siegfried and Ron to be more interesting. OK, I give, it was just a random lesbian couple, or sisters, or both. In my mind, though, I immediately dubbed them S & R minus the makeup, showers, and tigers. Having reached the height of dinginess, it was time to disembark, and we all did so with great gusto and relief.

Funny thing, on the way to MGM we spied the Super Hooker Serial Killer from earlier at another bus stand. For a brief moment I thought maybe she had taken offense from earlier and had now decided to stalk us, but no, she was just busy selling VIP passes to some of the finer establishments in Vegas.

My feet hurt. Need Beer. Need poker.

We were very near to that wonderful MGM lion, where we would finally be shielded from the strange things wandering in the night.

[Christ Almighty, this is gonna hit a part IV…For those of you who may be averse to long stories, my apologies, I can’t help myself]